The Sacred Lake in Karnak Temple Luxor | History, Facts, Pharaonic Temples

The Sacred Lake in Karnak temple Luxor Egypt is one of Karnak’s top tourist attractions as it is an engineering miracle. The Karnak Sacred Lake played a great role in the Ancient Egyptian civilization Creation Myth and the Daily Rituals in the Amun temple.

The Lake shed some light on Egyptian History during the reign of two Egyptian Pharaohs kings Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep III.

The Sacred Lake in Karnak temple

Egypt Goota Travel highly recommended a short stop by the Sacred Lake and learning about the legends connecting to the Lake in Ancient Egypt and Now. Meanwhile, some of the secrets of the Daily life in the Pharaonic temples and the life of the priests and Egyptian Pharaohs Kings.

Where is the Sacred Lake in Karnak Temple?

The lake is in Karnak temple and is located within the enclosure of Amun temple at Karnak in Thebes (Luxor) on the East Bank of the Nile River.

What was the purpose of the sacred lake found at temples?

To mention the purpose of the Sacred Lake in Karnak temple or in any Ancient Pharaonic temples, we need to mention first the purpose of the temple itself. The Ancient Egyptians built two types of temples in ancient times as follows

  1. Cult temples on the East bank of the Nile
  2. Mortuary temples, also known as temples of millions of years on the West Bank of the Nile River

The cult temples are normally for worshipping one or more Gods like the Karnak temple was built for the cult of Amun. Meanwhile, there were some more minor gods worshipped in the same temple like Goddess Mut, God Khonsu, God Ptah, and God Osiris. The temple in this case is the house of the god where people can pray to him, and ask him about whatever they like.

The Mortuary temples on the west bank of the Nile were constructed for the cult of the dead king. These temples on the west bank and the rituals practiced inside them were mainly to keep the king’s spirit nourished for the afterlife. The temples of Millions of years like Hatshepsut temple, Ramesseum, Medinet Habu Temple, Merenptah temple, and the Mortuary Temple of Seti I.

What rituals were performed in Egyptian temples?

The rituals intended to satisfy the god’s needs were conducted on a daily basis by the Pharaoh or the one who was replacing him as the High Priest. Thus, three times a day, the high priest is supposed to make offerings of food, drink, clothing, and ointment to the God of the temple. This ritual, prayer’s main purpose is to keep the order of the universe.

We have a perfect idea about the Daily Rituals in the Egyptian temples from many sources and overall, the temple of Seti, I at Abydos, and papyrus manuscripts refer to the cult of the god Amun and the goddess Mut at Karnak.

The first step of the preparations includes the purification of the priests who will share in the rituals such as showering in the sacred lake of the temple.

Who built the Sacred Lake in Karnak temple Luxor?

The Egyptian King Thutmosis III, the sixth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty, The New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt built it in the Karnak complex.

What legends are associated with the sacred lake?

  1. One of the legends associated with Karnak is very similar to the legends associated with the crypts in the Dendera temple. Modern Egyptians believe that women suffering from infertility or gynecological problems can be ok if they visit the crypts or shower in the Lake.
  2. Swimming in the lake or going around the scarab 7 times makes the dreams come true


  1. The Sacred Lake of Karnak temple is connected to the Nile River
  2. The level of water from antiquity to these days increases or decreases according to the Nile flood season.
  3. Karnak sacred lake was built by the Pharaoh Thutmosis III, the New Kingdom between 1473 to 1458 B.C
  4. The lake was once surrounded by small houses for priests

More Facts about the Lake

  1. The largest of its kind in the whole of Egypt
  2. It provided a home to the sacred animal of Amun, the geese in ancient Egyptian history
  3. Priests shower in it before they perform the rituals
  4. Thutmosis III Sacred Lake in Karnak represents the primeval waters from which life arose
  5. On the western side of it, there is a huge granite statue of the Scarab of Amenhotep III
  6. On the Eastern side of the Lake lies the seats erected for the Sound and light show at the Karnak temple telling the Ancient Egyptian Civilization and ancient Egyptian history. Nevertheless, beneath them were the priests’ houses
  7. The water of it never dries through the year

The measurements of the Sacred Lake in Karnak temple

the temple of Amun Ra (Karnak temple) is the biggest Lake in Egypt compared with the Dendera Temple Sacred Lake, and Mut temple Sacred Lake.

The Karnak sacred lake measures 120m from East to west and 77m from north to south. It was built from limestone and is walled and it has stairways descending into the water from all around same as Dendera Sacred Lake.

When was built?

The Sacred Lake of Karnak temple in Luxor was built by the Egyptian Pharoah Thutmosis III who ruled Egypt during the 18th Dynasty, the New Kingdom between 1473 to 1458 B.C. So, it was built between these two dates 1473 to 1458 B.C.

Sacred Lake in Tanis in the Delta Egypt

Archaeologists have found the walls of a sacred lake in the city of Tanis in Lower Egypt. Tanis Lake was found buried 12 meters below the ground, within the enclosure wall of the Temple of Mut, the wife of the god Amun. The City of Tanis in the Delta used to be one of the important capitals of Lower Egypt.

Opening Hours of the Karnak Lake

As mentioned before the Karnak sacred lake is located within the enclosure of the Amun temple at Karnak in Thebes and it is part of the tour of Karnak. So, the Lake is accessible as Karnak from 07.00 am to 17.30 pm.

The ticket Price

is included in the ticket for the Karnak complex.

Finally, the famous Sacred Lake of Karnak as part of the Karnak temple tour is included in all the Nile Cruises programs and Luxor Tours from Hurghada, Marsa Alam Tours, and Cairo Tours.

All Egypt tours and Egypt tour packages include Karnak temple as it is the biggest religious temple in Egypt. Thus, it has a lot to see besides it such as Mut Temple, The Temple of Ptah, Hypostyle Hall, and Hatshepsut Shrine.